As we've discussed previously, some people share their
"secret" recipes but others like to hold on to them. Bakery owners
have obvious reasons to fall into the latter camp. So you can
imagine the dismay when a San Francisco-area baker discovered that
someone broke into his bakery and stole his recipe binders.
Ry Stephen, a 28-year-old pastry chef, recently opened Mr Holmes Bakehouse. The
shop has been open three months and is quite popular, with people
waiting in line to buy his West Coast phenomenon, the cruffin (a
riff of Dominique Ansel's cronut). Apparently cruffins are beyond
delicious, as one night last week, a thief stole the recipe
for the pastry, along with 230 other recipes, from binders stored
in the bakery's kitchen. Nothing else in the store was taken: the
thieves left behind money, baking equipment, an iPad and
While Stephen is upset, he doesn't think that the thieves will
be able to recreate the cruffin from the written recipe. He notes
that not all of the steps are listed, nor is the source of the
butter (however, the NY Times spilled the beans on the butter,
which is imported from Isigny-sur-Mer, France). While Stephen
trusts his employees and doesn't believes any of them is the
culprit, he's not as sure about his competitors. "There is a spirit
of learning among pastry chefs," he said. But, "there are always
one or two who are trying to take everything and not give back," he
said. "That part disappoints me."
This heist comes on the heels of the French Laundry burglary,
where thieves made off with wine worth about $300,000 USD. (Most of
the wine was later recovered.) Whether or not this robbery signals
a trend, one thing is certain: it's good for business. Stephens'
bakery was already busy, but now the lines for cruffins are even
longer. "If someone stole it, it's got to be good," said Ashley
Edwards, a restaurant manager who was waiting in line.